Valentine’s Day is almost upon us! Many of us are considering who we will ask to be our Valentine, or if you have someone already, you may be considering what is the perfect romantic or sentimental gift. Having been in a relationship that became a marriage, I have learned that showing your love to those that you care for is a constant process that cannot be relegated to just one day. Before my disability, my husband and I were always out together. When I became disabled, the time we spent together, especially in public, began to dwindle. Once I began using my Quantum wheelchair, however, date nights were back to being about us and enjoying each other’s company.
Before Life at iLevel with My Quantum Wheelchair
For my husband and I, one of our most constant expressions of our love for each other is just being together when it’s easy to be and even when it’s boring, difficult, or mundane. Date nights, supporting our children at school functions or selling Girl Scout cookies in November and December in the brutal Baltimore winter, are all ways we show love to each other. When I received my wheelchair, that changed. It was often more practical for him to go to functions and public events by himself. My first two chairs were okay to use but not powerful enough to navigate varied terrain or difficult to use in crowded spaces. My husband had to be my offensive lineman to keep me from being tripped over, bumped into or blocked from moving freely.
Date Nights Make a Comeback
My Quantum wheelchair, an Edge® 3 with iLevel® technology, has brought me back to a place where my husband and I are able to roll (no pun intended) back into public. I can raise my power chair seat up to its maximum height, which allows me to be at eye level with others. This makes me hard to ignore when moving through restaurants, the theater, and museums. When out on date night, we can enjoy each other and experiencing new places. We can focus on keeping the love fun and spontaneous.
Reaching Bars and High-Top Tables with My Quantum Wheelchair
Using iLevel almost eliminates the need for waiting for the hostess to find a suitable place for us to sit. I can use high-top tables that require stools, sit at the bar, or adjust the height of the wheelchair seat so I am where I need to be. My husband would not say so, but he worries that I may not be having as good a time as I could be because I feel limited in any aspect of our outings. That stresses him and then he isn’t able to enjoy himself. Having my Edge 3 power chair has taken away a lot of small worries and brought back much of the fun that my husband and I enjoy. Now we can get back to expressing our love to each other all year round!
About Merlisha Henderson: Merlisha uses an Edge 3 Power Wheelchair for mobility and lives in Arizona with her family. As a wife, mother and disability advocate in her community, she stays active and independent, working toward bringing equality and access to all. Click here to learn more about Merlisha.
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